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So how many coasters do you have that started life as critical backup CD/DVD’s? Or the CD/DVD’s that you entrusted to store a lifetime of photo memories? Well if you’re like most of us, you may have more than one.

As a long term file storage medium, CD/DVD’s are, in effect, all-purpose, durable and generally inexpensive. The difficulty in relying on this storage medium however is they aren’t always as reliable as we sometimes seem to think.

An internet friend, a very competent Techno Geek – was telling me just this week, “an older system of mine decided that it would not boot into Windows (XP), and then””with a determination that would make a Missouri mule proud””resisted all resuscitation efforts. No problem (I said to myself.. it was still early in the day). I’ll just re-mount a “ghost image” backup from the DVD’s I made last week.”

He went on to say “one of the 4 DVD’s was “corrupted”. As in “unreadable”. As in…that backup is totally useless to me. Four wasted discs. Caught me a little off guard, too….I pay extra to buy the best blanks, and the company to which I am alluding has never given me a “bad burn” before.”

So you’re not alone in turning what you may consider to be, unusable/unreadable CD/DVD’s into expensive coasters. But there is a solution that can help you to recover damaged data that you may have considered unrecoverable. Stepping into the picture is CD Recovery Toolbox, a free CD/DVD file recovery tool.

This small free application was designed to recover damaged files on CD, DVD, HD DVD, and Blu-Ray disks. It can recover files that have been lost as a result of physical damage to the disk (scratches, chips, and so on), or as a result of a bad or inaccurate recording.

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The program scans damaged CD and DVD disks and produces a listing of files and folders on the media which it can recover. Be aware however that, depending on the degree of damage, there may be files that the application cannot recover.

In testing this product’s file recovery ability on a severely scratched and chipped disk, I’m happy to say that it recovered 934 files out of a total of 936, that Windows could not read, and it did this in less than 2 minutes.

Data recovery is generally a complex process but even beginners will have an easy time with this application based on it’s step-by step wizard, which makes the use of the tool very simple and convenient.

Quick facts:

  • Recovers files/folders from CD and DVD’s
  • Recovers files larger than 4 GB
  • Detects lack of free space on the designated storage hard drive

Requirements: Windows 98/ME/2K/XP/2K3/Vista

Do you know of any similar programs that you use to rescue files from scratched and damaged disks? Share your recommendations in the comments!

  1. JacPat
    August 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    well, it's the first time i've ever tried to recover part of a dvd. I'm not sure if it's something i did, or the program. But it spend 5 hours to recover 6 images. I clicked recover the entire dvd, though i thought it would be faster than that.

  2. Email Subscriber
    July 1, 2009 at 11:33 am

    Excellent software! Used it to recover some MP3 voice recordings of my late grandfather. Worked very quickly (approx 5 mins for each 3MB MP3 file). It succeeded where CDCheck and unstoppable copier failed.

    Cant rate it highly enough - thanks for the review makeuseof

  3. Nikil
    August 30, 2008 at 8:49 pm

    Read the article in Techworld for detailed information on how to maintain your CD/DVD. It would enable you to prevent damages upto an extent.For damaged one,this is the best solution available..nice post...I used the tips from Techworld and yours to keep my records alive !

  4. Harry Potterfan
    August 20, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Thanks a ton for this wonderful app! You have no idea what a lifesaver this article is for me now!! So many 'corrupt' CDs and DVDs have suddenly become recoverable now!!

    THAT'S A REAL LIFESAVER!!!! IT IS!!!

    I firmly recommend this freeware who has even a single 'unreadable' CD/DVD...

  5. Kitty M16
    June 29, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    One technique to use is to create a ISO image of the software CD/DVD when you obtain it; then use a virtual CD drive to mount it as required. Similar when burning CDs, also burn a ISO image.

  6. M
    June 11, 2008 at 5:21 pm

    Isobuster is good too. It recovered files from a damaged DVD for me once while CD Recovery Toolbox didn't even recognize it!
    The only drawback is that it is not free.

  7. Rich Hill
    June 9, 2008 at 10:03 am

    This just saved me a ton of moolah!

    I have not been kind to my original Office for Win xp and my original Photoshop 6.0.
    The both had gouges and edge rot and just would not work at all.

    I was trying to decide if I should upgrade all of my systems to VISTA (yuckies) or buy some used software to keep working in XP, which I am comfortable with.

    I had tried those disks on three different machines and for some reason had not tossed them out yet.

    I can't believe it but this program recovered them and I am back in business!

    Thanks so much!

    Rich Hill
    LinkMoney.org

  8. USBman
    June 6, 2008 at 11:18 am

    I'm a fan of ISO Puzzle
    It creates an ISO of your damaged media, and flags any bad sectors. This then allows you to try reading that same damaged media of another drive (or even another computer altogether), with the aim that perhaps a different drive may (for various reasons, including better error handling) be able to access those flagged sectors. It then adds any additional successfully read sectors to the previously built ISO, leaving you with a more complete recovery of your precious data. Yah!!

  9. Disconnect
    June 5, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    I tested this out just now and it worked out quite well compared to a few others I tested. I ran it on a few files on a CD that other programs could not fully recover. The end result was that it copied the files but when viewing the 2 video's plus 1 pic, it show some (but little) frame / pixel loss. It would be nice if the app showed a percentage of file loss and the area the area of loss or corruption.. but I used the default settings.. i'll see if this is possible after looking at some of the options.

    Thanks for posting this!

    • Bill Mullins
      June 5, 2008 at 2:40 pm

      Hey Disconnect,

      Glad this app worked for you. When I was testing it, I was pretty surprised at how efficient it was given that it's a free app.

      Bill Mullins

  10. Brainiac
    June 5, 2008 at 4:57 am

    I am fan of Badcopy, it can handle damaged discs pretty well. The only problem i's not free, though if you look hard enough there is always a cracked version lying around. You just need to know where to look ;-)

    • Aibek
      June 5, 2008 at 5:29 am

      Hey Brainiac, I tried it as well. It's pretty good, though it did fail for me a couple times.

    • Disconnect
      June 5, 2008 at 9:13 pm

      Brainiac, as per your recommendation I just tested Badcopy with the same 3 files I mentioned in my other post. I have tried about 4-5 different apps in total now and so far, CD Recovery Toolbox was one of the quickest and did a better job at recovering files.

  11. Becci
    June 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    Oh thank God! This is a life saver. I have a CD of pictures from one of my brothers' weddings. I made the CD 2 years ago & not long after making it I couldn't access the pictures. My brother & his wife were nearly as upset as I was. Now I've recovered all the pictures & even some short video clips from that special day :D

    • Bill Mullins
      June 5, 2008 at 2:36 pm

      Hey Becci,

      It's always very cool to hear of a success like yours! Good one.

      Bill Mullins

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